Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson on Friday tasked the state’s Head of Service, Reverend Thomas Zidafamor and Permanent Secretaries in the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, on the full implementation of the public service reforms, targeted at repositioning the service for greater productivity and professionalism.
Governor Dickson, who made the call during a meeting with the Head of Service, the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission and Permanent Secretaries in Government House, Yenagoa, called for support and understanding from all stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the reforms.
According to him, a state of emergency has been declared in the public service to address the decay in the sector, which has continued unabated over the years.
Governor Dickson charged the Head of Service to ensure that, the reforms are fully implemented by the middle of next month, noting that, ministries, departments and agencies that fail to comply with government’s directives may have their salaries delayed until they conform.
He said “The civil service is marred in payroll fraud and wastages but in the midst of it all, I know there are hardworking civil servants who have spent their entire working life serving our people and making a difference.
“We all have to declare emergency in the public service, especially in the area of indiscipline, proper conduct and behavior, capacity building, welfare and training. We should all be on the same page. That is why we are having this interaction”
On welfare of workers, the Governor assured of training and re-training to enable public servants acquire knowledge to boost productivity, while the medium and low cost housing units in Ayama, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and Agbura, Yenagoa Local Government Area remain government’s priority.
Governor Dickson also explained that, the state government was discussing with some financial institutions to provide mortgages so as to enable top civil servants buy plots in the new Government Reserved Area, GRA.
Speaking to correspondents in an interview after the meeting, the Head of Service, Reverend Thomas Zidafamor, said the major issues discussed include, the implementation of the reforms, training and welfare, assuring that, the reforms would be implemented to the latter.
“A lot of issues cropped up at the meeting. The major issues bordered on the ongoing reforms in the civil service. The governor emphasized that Permanent Secretaries must take charge and be on top of the implementation of the reforms. Some aspects of the reforms have to do with harmonization of the workforce, some places that you have so many workers, may have to be redeployed to other places that may need their services”
Also, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Chairman of the Permanent Secretaries Forum, Mr. Ekiyor Promise, said Governor Dickson means well for the state, as the reforms would free up funds for development.
On his part, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Survey, Mr. Moses Teibowei assured the Governor that, they would key into the implementation of the reforms to ensure success.